Help pick art for Grand Junction’s Horizon Drive
WHAT: Horizon Drive District Art Open House
WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton (743 Horizon Dr., Grand Junction)
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 14, 5-7 p.m.
COST: Admission is free
Plans to construct two new roundabouts at Horizon Drive’s Interstate 70 interchange mean Grand Junction’s main entry will soon look vastly different. An open house is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 14, to view artistic renderings of proposed sculptures to be placed at the roundabouts upon completion. The event will be hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton (743 Horizon Dr.) from 5-7 p.m. It’s open to the public and comments are encouraged.
“Horizon Drive is a window to our great community, which is currently an understatement to tourists passing by our city,” said Mistalynn Meyerran, a Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau spokeswoman. “The proposed upgrades, specifically the artists’ additions, will grab the attention of motorists as they pass by or stop for gas. We hope by creating intrigue, they will look into Grand Junction more as a destination, rather than a convenient stop on their journey.”
According to Horizon Drive District manager Vara Kusal, ground will be broken on the roundabout project in September 2015 and it’s scheduled to be completed by the National Junior College World Series in 2016. Three traffic signals will be removed as well.
Art placed in the area will be larger than life, approximately one-half to two times larger than realistic scale, Kusal confirmed. A call for artists went out earlier this year and three options — Douwe Blumberg, Joseph Fichter, and John Lopez — have been narrowed from 117 applicants.
“We want a herd of horses to go with the mosaic along the underpass,” Kusal added, noting that the art project is estimated to cost around $200,000. “We want to choose something that will be really popular with the people of Grand Junction and attract the eyes of people buzzing by on I-70.”
Grand Junction officials — including Horizon Drive District board members, Grand Junction City Council and Grand Junction’s Commission on Arts & Culture, along with other local art experts — made up the panel of jurors who chose the top three submissions, a news release stated.
A LIL’ HISTORY
Members of the Horizon Drive District have long hoped to improve impressions of Grand Junction’s popular entryway.
Initial public efforts to improve Horizon Drive began in 2004, with the first phase of projects done in 2008, a 2012 Free Press story reported. The Horizon Drive District funded $285,000 of the $1.3 million project, as a partnership with the City of Grand Junction. A wild horse mosaic, now the largest piece of public artwork in the area, was part of the initial push. The Horizon Drive District is currently funded by a .005 mill levy on the area’s 120-plus commercial properties.
Costs for the new roundabouts are calculated to cost $5.25 million. Colorado Department of Transportation will finance 80 percent of costs, Kusal said, with the Horizon Drive District and the City of Grand Junction splitting the remaining 20 percent.
For more information about the Horizon Drive District, visit http://www.horizondrivedistrict.com.
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